The new kids on the Star Wars block aren’t too new when it comes to acting. Both Lupita Nyong’o and Oscar Isaac have plenty to offer in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Poe Dameron, Oscar Isaac, will not only bring a ton of acting talent to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but will keep you on the edge of your seat. Poe is an X-Wing pilot fighting for the Resistance against the First Order. He is the most skilled pilot that the Resistance has, and he feels a deep commitment and allegiance to the movement and the battle of good versus evil.
Now on the other side is the Pirate Queen Maz Kanata played by Lupita Nyong’o. And per Lupita, Maz Kanata is a pirate and owns a bar. Created through motion capture Maz is about as far away as one can get from the actress’ Oscar-winning breakout role as the slave Patsey in 12 Years A Slave.
First Star Wars Experience
Lupita: I was born into Star Wars. I feel it was a very normal part of my childhood. It would come on public holidays on the national television. We only had two channels so Star Wars was on and everybody watched it and everybody was familiar with it. Star Wars was all there was to watch on TV and we all loved it and so it was just a very normal comfortable, cozy part of my imaginative folklore. It wasn’t until being cast in it that I realized what it meant on a meta level to the world and how big the fan base is, how dedicated, how enthusiastic people are about this world that George Lucas created. And I mean I felt it dawned on me for the first time I think stepping onto the actual set that I was a part of it because I looked around these and these were these very expansive sets and there was so much detail taken into the creation of every single thing, the textures, the colors. You really did feel like you were on another planet and I think that was the time when I realized wow, I’m a part of something that has and will continue to go down in history.
Oscar: The first movie I ever saw in the theater was Return of the Jedi, amazingly. It’s pretty crazy so now that I’ve done this one. I’m gonna stop doing movies now ‘cause I feel like I’m really into a symmetry, it definitely changed my mind, my life. It kind of blew my little kid brain and, yeah I was a huge fan ever since and my family were very big fans. Every time a new film would come out we’d throw themed parties and memorize the fight scenes to a T and terrorize my family with them. And so for me Star Wars has always represented and meant quite literally coming together as a family and, and having a great time and it was an excuse to do that. And then but at the same time, you know, it’s like that thing where there’s this ownership over it and there’s an intimate relationship with it and then also it just is something completely outside of my, anyone’s real reality and then suddenly to actually be asked to join that and not only be in it but to contribute something and create a new character which it really was that. It was an evolution. The character changed so much from what originally was there when JJ and I first met to what ultimately ends up on screen. So it really did feel like creating something. Uh, it is, it’s kind of hard to process because you start and especially now. you really feel that, you know, receding of all the water ‘cause the tsunami’s about to hit. You know, that’s kind of what this moment is really where it’s just about to, to crest over and so yes, it’s not just a film. It’s a cultural phenomenon and it’s just hard to process.
Tell Us About Your Character
So obviously none of us have seen the movie yet. What can you tell us about your characters?
Lupita: I can tell you that my character’s name is Maz Kanata and she is a pirate and owns a bar.
We don’t know much about Maz yet but we do know that she’s pretty up there in age. How does it feel to play someone so wise and a thousand years old, young?
Lupita: Well, I mean I can’t answer that because I didn’t say all those things you said and I’m not allowed to say any of those things. So I, those are, those are basically speculations that I cannot, confirm or deny.
Oscar: I can say that Poe Dameron is a pilot, not a pirate and he is committed to the resistance and to defeating the first order. He believes in the force and he can be a little reckless in wanting to prove that he is, he is a leader and a hero and I think he also has that swagger and confidence that comes from people that can soar above everyone else and do all these things at once like, like fighting a fighter jet and getting into these dog fights and be so close to the edge of death and that definitely influences how he operates in the world.
What was it like to see your character for the first time?
Oscar: It’s strange. It’s, it’s again it’s difficult to process. It’s a lot of mixed emotions because you’re seeing it as a fan. You’re seeing the new thing. You’re exhilarated by that. You’re understanding what the world is because it’s one thing to see it all put together. So you’re being — I was being affected as a viewer and then also the memories of what shooting was like and what takes were used and what takes were not used and what was moved to another place and how it affects the thing. So there’s so much, so much going on that it’s a very trippy moment.
Lupita: I when I signed on to play Maz she was still going through a lot of, uh, they were still developing the character and her role in the film and what she was going to look like and all that and they welcomed me into that conversation which was really cool to see we’re at the stage, you know, the early stages of her and how she’s evolved over time and, you know, because she’s CGI they’ve been working on her for a long, a long time. And then to finally see the film and to see what became of her and somehow I’m — it’s me but it’s definitely not me it’s bizarre. I’ve never seen myself like that in, in another, another body all together. So it was just as confusing and bizarre and, and, uh, titillating like oh, my god there I go. You know, and then you see the whole film as well and it’s overwhelming. I mean it’s overwhelming and it’s beauty. My take away from seeing the film was that it is a seamless. It felt to me like a seamless continuation of the Star Wars saga and because what they’ve done is they have kept the integrity of the world that George Lucas created and somehow they have managed to integrate all this new technology and these new storylines and they’ve just, they work, they work effortlessly together and, it’s a beautiful, visual experience and a moving story and I think the fans that the, the franchise already has will be very happy and I think the new fans will be equally thrilled by this amazingly creative world.